A host of Indian festivities ahead


Cooking up a feast: Women preparing food at Gudwara Sahib Petaling Jaya for Vaisakhi last year.

KUALA LUMPUR: The various ethnicities that make up the Indian community here are set to celebrate their respective festivals this week.

This kicks off with the Telugu community celebrating Ugadi (New Year’s Day according to the Hindu lunar calendar) today, followed by the Tamil New Year Chithirai Puthandu and Malayalee New Year Vishu on April 14.

The Sikhs will also celebrate Vaisakhi to mark the creation of the Khalsa in 1699, on April 14.

Speaking to Bernama, Malaysia Hindu Sangam president T. Ganesan said he hopes these celebrations would bring blessings, opportunities, great health and prosperity in a new year which is known as the Krodhi year.

He said the auspicious period begins at 10.50pm on April 13, coinciding with the first day of the Chittirai month (the first month of the Tamil calendar, which starts on April 14).

“A prayer session will take place at the Sri Sakthi Karpaga Vinayagar Temple in Brickfields in the morning of April 14.

“There will be traditional activities including the uri adithal game, kolam and chess competitions, as well as religious activities,” he added.

Malaysia Telugu Foundation president Datuk R. Kantharao Ackunaidu said this year’s Ugadi celebration is known as Sri Krodhi Nama Ugadi.

He highlighted the significance of pachadi, a renowned condiment composed of assorted ingredients, symbolising different flavours and aspects of life.

“The bitterness of neem flowers, the sweetness of jaggery sugar, the sourness of tamarind, the tanginess of raw mango and the spiciness of chillies serve as reminders for people to approach life with resilience, positivity and a balanced outlook,” he added.

He also said the foundation would organise a communal prayer event at Sri Ramar Temple in Selayang, Selangor this evening.

The celebration would feature rituals, processions, traditional dances and almsgiving, he added.

Malaysian Hindu Malayalee Cultural and Traditional Association president Dr NR Nambiar said Vishu, celebrated by the Malayalee community, involves many components.

“Vishu Kanni, arranged by the eldest female member of the house the night before Vishu, involves setting up auspicious items including a statue of Krishna or Guruvayurappan with flowers, fruits, ornaments, coins, clothes and holy books,” he said.

He said Vishu Kaineetham involves elders offering money to the youngest members of the family, while Vishu Sadya comprises a feast prepared by the entire family with at least eight to 10 vegetarian dishes.

Sikh Naujawan Sabha Malaysia president Paramjeet Singh Jai Singh said the Sikhs would celebrate Vaisakhi at all gurdwara or Sikh places of worship.

The celebration would start on April 12 with the continuous recitation of the Guru Ganth Sahib Ji, the Sikh holy scriptures, he said.

He said the Gurdwara Sahib Petaling Jaya would hold various activities include congregational prayers, singing of spiritual hymns, seminars, displays of Sikh martial arts, a medical camp and children’s tea parties.

Vegetarian meals would be served on all three days at various gurdwara to mark the occasion, considered among the most important on the Sikh calendar, he added.

Vaisakhi commemorates the establishment of the Khalsa by the 10th master of the Sikhs, Guru Gobind Singh Ji, in Anandpur Sahib of India 325 years ago through the Amrit Sanchar (baptism) ceremony after which the men began using “Singh” (lion) in their names and women had “Kaur”.

This, among others, was to put an end to caste discrimination, promote equality and to advocate virtuous and truthful living.

In Punjab of India, Vaisakhi is also celebrated to mark the harvest festival as the farmers thank the Almighty for a bountiful harvest.

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